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[too-mer, tyoo-] /ˈtu mər, ˈtyu-/
a swollen part; swelling; protuberance.
an uncontrolled, abnormal, circumscribed growth of cells in any animal or plant tissue; neoplasm.
  1. inflated pride; haughtiness.
  2. pompous language; bombast.
Also, especially British, tumour.
Origin of tumor
1535-45; < Latin: a swelling, swollen state, equivalent to tum(ēre) to swell + -or -or1
Related forms
tumorlike, adjective
tumorous, tumoral, adjective
antitumor, adjective, noun
antitumoral, adjective
nontumorous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tumor
  • If one cell can incite tumor growth, researchers know that's the cell to target if they want to stop the tumor's growth.
  • Take a virtual tour into the growth of a tumor and watch how blood vessels help tu.
  • When tumor cells are transplanted into experimental mice, only the stem cell variety spurs new cancer growth.
  • They found that the cells initiated and sustained new brain tumor growth in the mice.
  • Take a virtual tour into the growth of a tumor and watch how blood vessels help tumors grow and metastasize.
  • They also demonstrated that an antibody targeting these cells slows tumor growth in mice.
  • There have been cases in which the immune system successfully fights a tumor, and others in which it stimulates tumor growth.
  • But when something goes awry, methylation can unleash a tumor by silencing a gene that normally keeps cell growth in check.
  • Grading a tumor can help predict its growth rate and tendency to spread.
  • Pheochromocytoma may occur as a single tumor or as more than one growth.
British Dictionary definitions for tumor


  1. any abnormal swelling
  2. a mass of tissue formed by a new growth of cells, normally independent of the surrounding structures
(obsolete) pompous style or language
Derived Forms
tumorous, tumoral, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from tumēre to swell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tumor

1540s, from Latin tumor "swelling, condition of being swollen," from tumere "to swell" (see thigh).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tumor in Medicine

tumor tu·mor (tōō'mər, tyōō'-)

  1. An abnormal growth of tissue resulting from uncontrolled, progressive multiplication of cells and serving no physiological function; a neoplasm.

  2. A swollen part; a swelling.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tumor in Science
See neoplasm. See Note at cancer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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tumor in Culture

tumor definition

An abnormal mass of new tissue growth that serves no function in the body. Tumors are usually classified as benign or malignant and are often caused by cancer.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for tumor



The stomach: eliminating the protruding tummy

[1869+; fr a childish pronunciation of stomach]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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